EKCEP Enables 27 Eastern Kentuckians to Graduate from HCTC Lineman & Fiber Optics Program

After two months of extensive training, 28 Eastern Kentuckians were recognized during a ceremony on Friday, October 27 for completing the Lineman & Fiber Optics Training course offered through the Hazard Community and Technical College (HCTC) in partnership with the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP) and Hiring Our Miners Everyday (H.O.M.E.).

Two graduates, Benjamen Hacker and Jackie Martin, were awarded the Chris Engle Award, which is “awarded to the student that exhibits the characteristics of a true lineman, including drive, determination, awareness of safety, and a genuine concern for fellow students,” HCTC Director of Workforce Solutions Keila Miller said at the ceremony.

Miller said this graduating class of linemen, which is the tenth class to come through since the program’s inception in 2013, was one of the biggest graduating classes the program has seen yet. She added that at least one graduate had already landed a job before the class had finished.

Graduates from the class include:

  • Jerome Harmon
  • Scot Short
  • Trisitian Stewart
  • Joshua Pennington
  • Jacob Bailey
  • Devin Wright
  • Dylan Bentley
  • Benjamin Combs
  • Jordan Fields
  • Jarrett Eldridge
  • James Wilson
  • Charles Gabbard
  • Jackie Martin
  • Joshua Campbell
  • Zachary Feltner
  • Brandon Wooton
  • Trey Higgins
  • Shaun Eldridge
  • Eric Young
  • Jamie Stewart
  • Derwin Combs
  • Jared Ratliff
  • Benjamen Hacker
  • Justin Kelly
  • Ronald Bowling
  • James Spurgeon
  • Matthew Thomassy

EKCEP covered tuition and other costs for 27 of the 28 graduates’ lineman and fiber optic training.

H.O.M.E. is a service of EKCEP in conjunction with the Kentucky Career Center JobSight regional workforce network. EKCEP provides federally funded jobseeker and employer services in 23 counties in the Appalachian Kentucky Coalfields.

H.O.M.E. helps out-of-work miners and their spouses discover their skills, determine new career options, covers costs for them to enter classroom training, and helps place them into subsidized on-the-job training positions with area employers.

The program is also creating partnerships with employers and organizations across Kentucky and other states to help miners find and land jobs that allow them to sustain their standard of living and continue to use their skills.

In these cases, H.O.M.E. can also provide limited relocation assistance to miners who accept out-of-area job opportunities.

The program is funded through $28.5 million in National Emergency Grant (NEG) funds from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration.

To see more photos from the graduation, click here to go to EKCEP's Flickr page for the event.

EKCEP, a nonprofit workforce development agency headquartered in Hazard, Ky., serves the citizens of 23 Appalachian coalfield counties. The agency provides an array of workforce development services, administers the Hiring Our Miners Everyday (H.O.M.E.) program for dislocated coal miners and their spouses, and is the White House-designated lead organization for the federal TechHire designation for Eastern Kentucky. Learn more about us at http://www.ekcep.org, http://www.jobsight.org and http://www.facebook.com/ekcep.